Self-care is pretty self explanatory; it’s taking care of yourself. It’s doing something deliberately for your own mental, and physical well-being. It’s maintaining a healthy relationship with yourself. Most importantly, self-care is not selfish.
WHAT IS SELF-CARE?
Before we examine why self-care is important, let’s take a closer look at what constitutes “self-care”. It’s personal and different for everyone, what’s important is that the act is something that is good for your mind, body, or soul. Some examples include:
|-Read a book.||-Learn a new skill.|
|-Say “no” to something you don’t want to do.||-List 3 things you like about yourself.|
|-Floss.||-Take a bubble bath.|
|-Meditate for 10 minutes.||-Listen to uplifting music.|
|-Watch a funny video.||-Clean out your pantry.|
|-Take a nap||-Get a facial.|
WHY IS SELF-CARE IMPORTANT
You cannot give to others, what you do not have of yourself. The spiel a flight attendant gives before take-off is a great analogy; you have to put your own oxygen mask on first. The truth is, when you’re focusing on your own well-being, you’re not just considering your needs, you’re empowering yourself which benefits the people around you. You’re giving them the best version of you.
In our society, we’re expected to work long hours and definitely don’t take enough vacation time. We give so much of ourselves, without taking the time to rest or recharge. We can only function like that for so long though. Ultimately, our productivity and efficiency start to wane. We get sloppy and make mistakes. Our morale, optimism, and energy are all draining.
Some recognize the signs of burnout and are able to rectify their situation. Some don’t, or perhaps do, but continue at the same pace anyway. This often leads to depression and anxiety. Resentment starts to build and can lead to a whole list of other negative implications.
In a way, you want to take care of your body, like you would your car. It needs the right fuel. You also need to take care of problems when they arise before they turn into something worse. Taking the time and putting the effort into self-care has been clinically proven to:
HOW TO TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is an American organization; however, they have recognized that there are eight dimensions of wellness that work together to make us whole. The following are those dimensions with tips on improving each as an act of self-care.